CEDENNA organizes numerous outreach activities, including conferences, talks, competitions, schools, seminars and exhibitions, to present its work to the general community, generating greater interest in science among the youth of our country.
With the strong commitment of improving the quality of education in Chile, the University of Santiago, through the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CEDENNA, and the Millennium Nucleus for Basic and Applied Magnetism, undertook PRONANO 2010, the first workshop on nanoscience and nanotechnology for high school teachers carried out in the country and which it is hoped will become a point of reference in upgrading teachers in this area of science.
Teachers from the municipalities of Estación Central, Maipú, La Florida, Pudahuel, Puente Alto, Recoleta, Peñalolén, Las Condes, Renca and La Pintana, among others from Greater Santiago, participated in this initiative, which was held October 7 and 8 at the National and International Events Center (CENI) of USACH.
After opening the event, the Vice-Rector for Research and Development of the University of Santiago, Mauricio Escudey commented on the value of this initiative, arguing that it is indispensible that new students are incorporated into the areas of science and technology: “Teachers are the fundamental motivators, because of which it occurred to us that we can promote the importance of these areas among teachers, they more effectively motivate their own students to take an interest in science in the near future,” stated Dr. Escudey.
The encounter, which also included visits to four laboratories of the University of Santiago, involved the participation of over 40 teachers from public, semi-private and private schools from the Metropolitan Region. The challenge in the coming years will be to extend the workshop to all the regions in Chile.
For the director of CEDENNA, Dora Altbir, this program represents a substantial support to the efforts being developed in Chile to have an educational system that responds to the challenges of globalization; an educational system that prepares our teachers and students to take on the professional and citizenship challenges that will face them in the future.
The teachers were very satisfied with this upgrading program on nanoscience and nanotechnology that gave them the opportunity to associate with distinguished researchers who are working in these fields, through the programmed conferences and the visits to the laboratory during this event.
“Extraordinary” was how Luis Cárdenas, a teacher from El Llano School in Maipú, qualified the opportunity to participate in PRONANO 2010. “It allowed us to acquire new knowledge. Now to pass it on to my colleagues and then to my students,” he stated with enthusiasm.
For Solange Garat, a teacher from Santa María de Providencia School, the fact that the university opens itself to people, and in particular to children, is very positive: “it is the way in which the country can advance,” she stated. “There is lack of people interested in science and these activities contribute to changing that”, she added.
For her part, Pamela Quiñones, from Cardenal Caro School in the community of La Pintana, was very interested in the technical advances in chemistry associated with the environment. “This is very valuable information to pass on to my students”, the teacher remarked.
“The thing to do now is see how to present the theme of nanoscience and nanotechnology to the kids through the application of concrete examples”, concluded the teacher Alex Castillo from Guillermo Feliú Cruz School in the community of Estación Central.